Friday, November 14, 2008

H from Nico Vassilakis

here's one of my Hs fer ya...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Paul Nelson on Writing Communites, SPLAB! and the Washington Poets Association

Paul Nelson posted about SPLAB!, a performance poetry organization in Auburn, a suburb in the Green River Valley midway between Seattle and Tacoma, "We put out an anthology, Woodfrogs in Chaos which was a metaphor for what we were trying to do in the town. The frog is a sign of a healthy environment, whereas we felt a poetry series was a sign of a healthy cultural ecosystem."

Paul also formulates a list. "Some critical elements of community include:
  • A comfortable place to share new work, get critical feedback and learn new writing exercises, even create new ones.
  • An intergenerational setting.
  • Exposure to master poets.
  • Exposure to a wide variety of teachers, poetry genres or schools.
  • Support for their writing practice.
  • Information on where to publish and where to hear other work in the community.
  • A place where they can be themselves."

Read Paul Nelson's entire excellent essay on Global Voices Radio. His last point seems crucial to me and one that "bootslack" I think alluded to in his comment on the first post. He wrote, "I think that all the way that ego and attachment destroys individuals lives are exactly the same way that they destroy community." I'm unsure if he means that possessing ego and attachment destroy individuals, or if exerting ego and attachment on other individuals is how this works?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Scheduled Event

I had chosen what seemed the amiable and neutral turf of the McLeod Residency for a duel with Doug Nufer over the future of Hugo House. Doug stepped in when my initial challenge with Ryan Boudinot went south. Ryan sadly declined to present. But Mr. Nufer was more than happy to take me down. The McLeod Residency, however, is moving. The good people of The Rendezvous were willing to offer up The Jewel Box Theater for a modest amount of cash (I wasn't using my car anyway.) and the hopes that poets and writers and whoever might be interested in a light-show battle to the death will purchase drink. I will I last longer than Obi Wan.

Mr. Nufer sent me his presentation. I was shaken. I have a lot of work to do if I have any kind of hope at all. At this point, I will be obliterated.

I may have to remember the lessons of PowerPoint Master's from the past, such as Portland's Claire Evans I've seen transfix audience with her lectures on The Internet.

I've posted this blog in order to open the conversation to people who may have different views than the ones I've already expressed and had crushed like a dandelion under professionally shined Wingtips. Unless you are a hardhearted business man who worships at the alter of "high culture" you will most likely find Mr. Nufer's vision of the future way too Northrop Frye/Donald Trump.

So please feel free to comment here at any length. A blog format isn't ideal but has advantages over Web forums and suits the perhaps temporary nature of this endeavor. I will post a regular Monday "stub" so people can leave comments, or if you want email me (matt(dot)briggs(at)gmail(dot)com) and I'll post your post as a root level comment.